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tv   BBC World News  PBS  April 21, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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>> "bbc world news" is presented by kcet, los angeles. funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news."
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>> the skies above europe are open for business after nearly one week of no flights. heathrow is operating at 80% capacity, and bringing home thousands of stranded passengers, but there is still a lot of hot air about hot ash. some are wondering whether or not it was necessary to close so much space. the catholic church and the abuse scandal. welcome to "bbc world news," , broadcast to our viewers in america on pbs, elsewhere around the world. my name is mike embly. the man who took the olympics from near bankruptcy to multimillion-dollars has died at 89. and for one day, china mourns the more than 2000 killed in last week's earthquake.
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hello to you. the skies above europe are returning to business as usual and expect to be back to 100% on thursday, but nearly 100,000 flights have been canceled in the past six days, so it may be weeks before the backlog of stranded passengers is cleared. there is intense pressure from the air travel industry. the transport minister has admitted safety regulators were overly cautious. we have this report. >> heathrow airport, the world's biggest hub for international travelers, is coming back to life. flights were the first to takeoff, long-haul, and the first to arrive was one from vancouver. >> i am glad to be back.
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a huge relief. >> we are all really, really glad. >> as more flights arrived, there were mixed tales, some praising the travel companies, others angry at days of uncertainty, but for one family, the opening up of the aerospace happens just-in-time. >> going up the aisle. i had my bridesmaids, the ushers, and it is fantastic. >> but this slovak couples, stuck in taiwan, missed their big day back home -- this slovak couple. someone took pity on them and organized an impromptu service. >> we are not stuck in this country, but we were sent here to be married, so this is really
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an amazing day. thank you all. >> nearly all of europe's airspace is now open. everywhere in the boarding passes, a great celebration. -- everywhere boarding passes, a great celebration, but it could take weeks. and now, recriminations. the head of the airline industry has attacked the way european industry handle the crisis. >> this is much worse than what happened on september 11. reopening the aerospace was a big step forward, but the situation continues to be an embarrassment. why? because they were late in taking decisions. europe has a big leadership, and standing up to the processes. >> the icelandic volcano is still pouring out asdh, -- ash,
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although less than before. the arguments over who pays for it all have only just begun to erupt. emily buchanan, bbc news. >> so why did it take six days for air traffic officials to decide it was safe to fly? yes, there were signs that the eruptions was scaling down, but there was also intense pressure to deal with the clouds of volcanic ash. here is our correspondent, david. >> , only yesterday, heathrow and other airports were paralyzed -- >> only yesterday. so how did the safety rules on the volcanic ash change so fast? aviation officials met the airlines. they were studying the findings
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of british research lights, six missions in all, to investigate the plumes -- the findings a british research flights -- british -- the findings of british research flights. >> they have actually been looking at this. >> meanwhile, just after 11:00 in the morning, a flight left for london. others took to the air, as well. ever since they flew a test flight last weekend, the airlines have been pushing for the rules to be relaxed. the planes had no problems with the ash, they said. the red zone marked the plume of ash. yesterday evening, with the airplanes hoping to land in britain, and the latest research
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into the risks, new procedures were being drafted. at about 7:00, airline officials met again. but not for long. the transport secretary. flights would be allowed where there was not a lot of ash, but why did they not do that sooner? >> it is fair to say that we were too cautious, but "we," being the international community, in the face of the eruption that took place, the volcanic eruption, they had to deal with the issue of tolerable levels of ash which were compatible with safe operation. >> last night, the first plane landed. there is still-in the air, and some airspace is still closed -- there is still ash in the air. >> our correspondent in iceland
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and explained to us what it is like now. >> -- in iceland explained to us what it is like now. >> you see that now p -- that plume. conditions have calmed down. it is mostly steam. the ash that is rising, we are told, is steadily closer to the volcano itself. we drove downwind of the volcano earlier on -- is staying closer to the volcano itself. the visibility is much better than it has been in previous days, but you can still feel bad -- that dust in your throats, and it is bad. the volcanologists have been flying over, working out exactly what is happening at the crater
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at the top of the volcano. they say that it has calmed down considerably. there is magma there. now, they say there are no guarantees that another big explosion will not occur, but if this follows previous issues, then this volcanic eruptions is now dealing off, and production of ash is lessening -- then this volcanic eruption is now trailing off. >> a ban of wearing the full face islamic bail -- vail. president sarkozy said they are not welcome in france. strengthening a base in bangkok, the main shopping district, closing an encampment with sharpened bamboo poles. there may be deadly force.
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the demonstrators have ruled out negotiating with the government. south korea says it has uncovered a plot to assassinate the most senior defector from the communist north. he chaired the supreme people's assembly and was a mentor of north korean leader kim jong-il. two suspected agents have been arrested. in northern ireland, the social democratic and labor party have launched their manifesto. it was said they will create more than 40,000 jobs over the next year's and broadened the government. the party currently has three seats at westminster -- and broaden the government. among the anguish and the anger in the sex abuse scandals involving catholic priests, the response from the church has generally been silence. sometimes, disaster is in public relations terms. very little, it seems --
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disastrous in public-relations terms. and it may be highly significant that the pope is speaking. we have this report from rome. >> pope benedict told pilgrims gathered in st. peter's square about his decision to meet eight victims of pedophile priests during his visit to malta last weekend. he promised action by the catholic church to protect children better in the future and priests of likely to molest them and to punish the guilty. -- and peace -- priests likely to molest them. >> [speaking foreign language] i shared with them the sufferings, and with emotion, i prayed with them, promising them action on the part of the church. >> after the malta meeting, one of the victims, was understandably emotional.
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>> a meeting with the pope. we prayed together. private, to todd, you know, like 6 minutes, five minutes. -- to talk. that seems like ours to us, when meeting the pope. >> pedophile priests in many countries are damaging the reputation of the church. earlier this week, the pope celebrated his 83rd birthday at a lunch offered by some of the cardinals elected him -- who elected him. he talked about what he termed "they have" in the church. at the time, few picked up on it -- what he termed "filth" in the
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church. he now has to navigate new course. in overwhelmingly catholic but tiny malta, the pope got a good visit. but elsewhere in the world, dissatisfaction has been expressed about the past record of the church in dealing with clerical sex scandals. catholics now want to see what concrete steps the pope now proposes to take beyond mere damage control. david, bbc news, rome. >> stay with us if you can on "bbc world news." still to come, a long-lost bottle. we will tell you about the long journey this has just finished. first though, to sri lanka, where final results of a parliamentary election have been declared.
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they could only be declared after re-polling in areas hit by violins. the ruling coalition, the united people's freedom alliance, has won by a landslide, increasing their seats to 144. our bbc reporter is in colombo. >> the coalition now has a majority, with well over half of the seats in parliament. the main opposition group has been reduced. part of the tamil-dominated area, a proxy for the defeated tamil tigers, while the party of the general, the defeated and now imprisoned former candidate, has seven seats, including the general himself as a newly elected mp. it is quite likely now that he will attend the subsequent sessions of parliament, though, of course, he may have to return pending the outcome of his military trial on charges
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that he says are politically motivated. the president has done so well in these elections because he is seen as the man who stamped out tamil tigers separatist violence, with that resounded military victory one year ago. it is hugely popular, especially among the rural senegalese majority. he is talking about making them a power. he has now until the year of 2016. a newspaper here, "the sun the times," talks about the accommodation -- "the sun date times." -- "the sunday times." sri lankan has been placed fourth among a list of where journalists are killed and where government has failed to bring the perpetrators to justice. >> the latest headlines for you
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on "bbc world news." europe's skies are returning to normal. the rules of flying with the ash cloud have been eased, but thousands have been stranded, and clearing that backlog could take weeks. the president of the international olympics committee has died at the age of 89. he took over in 1980 and held it until 2001. he retired as their second- longest-serving leader. he took them to a multimillion- dollar commercial spectacle, while attracting lucrative sponsorship and television deals the bbc correspondent reports. >> he died in hospital in barcelona after being admitted on sunday, suffering from heart trouble. he will be remembered as the nanuk sharpton -- shaped the modern olympics movement, one he made the olympic ring of the
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world's most marketable symbols. when he took over, they are close to bankruptcy. they cannot afford to host the olympics. -- could not afford to host the olympics. the final games in sydney. the olympics have changed beyond recognition. gaining the right to stage the games have become one of the world's most sought after prizes. >> you help represent to the world the best olympic games ever. [cheers and applause] >> today, they were morning the man who changed be organization beyond recognition. -- they were morningm wereourning. -- they were mourning. >> he is credited with making the games as successful as they were and making it more
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representative, and with a better governance. >> but he will also be remembered as a man in charge at the time of its greatest crisis. >> the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> he even had to testify in a corruption scandal. a number of ioc members were found guilty of accepting bribes, but he was never implicated, but the fact that it happened on his watch was always going to damage his reputation. nobody the would dispute his passion for sports. active in the olympic movement right up until the end of his life. beijing and all of the olympic cities that follow of much to the work of this man. >> flags have been flying at half mast in china as they mark a day of mourning for the victims. at least 2000 people are known to have died in a tremor that
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struck the province last wednesday. from beijing, our bbc correspondent. >> in the ruins of the county, he stops to remember the dead and the moment one week ago when the earthquake hit, tearing apart this remote community and killing hundreds. in the provincial capital, thousands stood in the freezing cold. car horns and sirens bleared to drop the city. flags were lowered to half mast -- throughout the city. china is in mourning. after the sichuan no. what, another remembrances. -- after the sichuan earthquake, another remembrancer -- remembrance. >> we cannot be there to help them but this is an event, to let them know that we still feel for them. >> but missing in this deeply buddhist part of china was the
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dalai lama, the spiritual leader of tibet. he offered to break a 50-year exile to comfort the people who revere him. beijing, who views him as a separatist, ignored the request. the leaders of china marked their own ceremony. for a countryman, let us more in silence, said the president. -- mourn in silence. bbc news, beijing. >> ukraine and russia have agreed to extend russia's least at the base in southern ukraine -- russia's lease. in exchange, russia will supply its law of the neighbor with cheaper gas. the deal was signed during the first visit in years, the sign of a warming relationship korea
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rescuers in the southern united states are searching for a worker is involving an explosion on an offshore oil rig. it was a semi submersible drilling platform off the coast of louisiana. it left a least seven injured, and an investigation is underway. -- at least seven injured. are doing much needed power for the fast-growing economy and another story -- arguing for much needed power for the fast- growing economy in another story, we have this report from brazil. >> in just five years, all of this will be transformed. the plan approved to build huge canals for the world's largest hydroelectric plant -- the plan? to build huge canals, about nine times the size of manhattan.
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it will affect more than 12,000 families. the british government says the project is essential for a booming economy, but critics say it will flood tribal areas and serious disrupt a river. community and indigenous leaders from the amazon came to protest against the project. they worry it will benefit big business at the cost to the local population. >> for us, the river is like the blood that runs through our veins. we live from it it, and we feel it spiritually. -- we live from it, and we feel it's spiritually. i do not even have words to explain it -- we feel it spiritually. >> but the government says adding is being done to minimize environmental impact and to improve things by making a long- term investment in the area -- but the government says everything is being done.
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>> water, having a good house, because a lot of people live in very bad conditions. we can protect the amazon, and at the same time, we can create jobs in the region. >> it is still far from over, the controversy. many environmentalists and groups of indigenous people say they will keep up their resistance against this and other hydropower projects in the amazon. >> if we dam out the rivers, the impact to the environment, to habitat, to people, to communities would be too high. >> the government has plans to hold auctions this year for 13
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more hydropower plants, most of them to be developed in the amazon. the brazilian economy and the country's hunger for energy continue to grow vigorously, and with this dam and other similar projects moving forward, the debate with conservation is likely to grow just as aggressively. bbc news, brazil. >> now, the days of new media and networking, a story of the staying power of old-school communications technology. five years ago, a homestead chinese sailor pened a message -- penned a message and tossed it into the sea. we have the story from sydney. >> this long-lost message in a whiskey bottle was thrown overboard by a homesick chinese sailor off of the coast of argentina five years ago.
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after bobbing across vast expanses of ocean, it ended up in a pile of rubbish in southern australia. >> -- >> it could have gone across the southern oceans. >> it is quite amazing. >> be well-traveled bottle contained a short note in mandarin. -- the well-travelled bottle contained a short note in mandarin, asking if the person who found it would like to be friends. it, crucially, contained the name and address of a sailor who lives in a small village in central china with his family. he has been sent a video by his new australian pen pals, two different worlds. >> i would like to meet them if
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it is possible. this is destiny. it was almost an impossible mission, but it made it. it is a miracle. i would be happy to have the honor to make friends with these people. >> his which may come true. they hope to travel to china to continue their remarkable friendship with a former merchant sailor who lives half a world away -- his wish may come true. >> a great story, and we have to show you these. nasa has unveiled the first pretty astounding images from the observatory. the spacecraft was sent up in february to examine the activity of the sun and produce images 10 times clearer than high- definition television, like these, called a prominent irruption, rising from the surface of the sun. it will give us a better idea of what causes solar variability and its effect on earth. find that story and much more
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online when you want it. you can get in touch with me and most of the team also on twitter. we're also on facebook. >> hello, and welcome. >> see the news unfold. get the top stories from around the globe and click to play video reports. go to to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding for this presentation was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank.
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>> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> there is one stage that is the met and carnegie hall. >> oh, that this too, too solid flesh -- >> it is the kennedy center. >> check, one, two. >> and a club in austin. [woman vocalizing] >> it is closer than any seat in the house, no matter where you call home. >> the top of the world, and i'm there. i'm home. >> pbs -- the great american stage that fits in every living room. your support of pbs brings the arts home. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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